John Bolton: Obama Shouldn't Have Revealed Drones Over Syria

Image: John Bolton: Obama Shouldn't Have Revealed Drones Over Syria Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 03:21 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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President Barack Obama shouldn't have announced the United States was sending drones over Syria, because it gave a warning to the Islamic State (ISIS), says John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"It's amazing to me that the president announced he was giving authorization. This is an intelligence matter. He never should have said anything. Why not just give ISIS advanced warning when the drones and planes are coming?" Bolton told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" on Tuesday.

Pentagon officials said Tuesday that the United States has started flying surveillance drones over Syria in advance of a possible military campaign against the Islamic State.

The United States was already attacking Islamic State forces with airstrikes in Iraq.

ISIS' hold on territory it seized in Iraq and Syria is "not really fully embodied in military control," Bolton said, which means it is "vulnerable at this point."

The "real problem" with the U.S. response to the threat posed by the Islamic State is that "the president still doesn't have a strategy," Bolton said, adding that until Obama decides what that is, it's all "just tactics now."

The purpose of striking Islamic State forces, Bolton said, is to prevent them from attacking the United States, whether or not there is an immediate plan to do so.

"Granted, that may be the threat isn't urgent right now. The whole point is to prevent the Islamic State from consolidating control over territory so that it can attack us at a later date, which is clearly its objective. They say it over and over again. We ought to take them at their word," he said.

The Islamic State has already "become a magnet for other terrorists from all over the world," and time will only allow the militant organization to "strengthen its hold over the territory it has now," Bolton explained, adding that it's a threat that will only "get worse."


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